Unilever's Lux brand has come out with a strong statement supporting Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya, who has been prohibited from defending her medal in the 800m race at the Tokyo Olympics.
If you're not familiar, Semenya has a naturally high level of testosterone, which has resulted in a long, controversial saga that finally led to the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) putting in new rules that prevent women such as Semenya from competing in certain events unless they take medication to reduce their testosterone levels. Semenya, who has endured in her career not just prejudice and denial of her gender identity but also intrusive physical examations, said she plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
The 'Born this way' campaign, from Wunderman Thompson Singapore, tells the South African athlete's story in animated form and ends with a blessedly non-equivocal statement that "No woman should ever be stripped of being a woman".
The brand says the campaign, which has a petition as its call to action, is part of a broader global initiative to "inspire 50 million women by 2025 using content, partnerships and activations to help them rise above everyday sexist judgements and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically".
Severine Vauleon, global vice president for Lux at Unilever:
Working for a beauty brand like Lux, it pains me that in this day and age, women still constantly get judged for how they look and choose to express their femininity. So I am proud to say that Lux stands with Caster. She is an example and an inspiration for women everywhere, to rise above the judgements of others and express their beauty fully and authentically. At Lux, we believe that beauty should be a source of strength rather than a source of judgement.
It makes me very happy to see brands like LUX who fearlessly stand on the side of what is right. My case is but one amongst many experiences that can be heard and felt by women all over the world. My team will continue to fight the good fight. Like I have always said this fight is not about me. It's about the future. Those talented up and coming athletes who are going to face the same discrimination. I have to make sure that I can honestly say, I did my bit. We all need to continue doing what's right in fighting for justice. And with the campaign my team has been working on, I am certain we will bring light to such issues beyond my case. I encourage everyone to unapologetically claim who they are and never waiver, no matter what society says. Thank you to my fellow South Africans who have stood by me through this journey. I will not cower.
Ad Nut is puzzled and pretty disgusted by the weird attitudes and decisions of humans in Semenya's case. For example, Ad Nut can't wrap the old noggin' around the rule that says she should be forced to take drugs to damage her performance. That's clearly antithetical to the freaking point of sports: athletes pushing themselves to perform to the absolute best of their natural ability. (Here's a good discussion of the ethical flaws in the IAFF judgement.)
In any case, Ad Nut is inspired by Semenya's undaunted spirit in the face of the years of smears and attacks on her dignity.
Finally, Ad Nut is super excited that companies like Unilever are making their position known on this matter and other fights around gender identity. For example, Unilever and many other companies have come out firmly against a wave of (mean-spirited, performative, cleary unconstitutional) anti-trans legislation being proposed and even signed into law at the state level in the US.
Agency Creative – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Marco Versolato, CCO WPP@Unilever/Wunderman Thompson
Ricardo Tronquini, Creative Director
Ai-Lin Tan, Creative Director
SIxin Wu, Art Director
Agency Account Management – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Hinoti Joshi, Business Lead - Global Lux
Len DeRosales, Sr. Account Director
Fanny LeMasson, Sr. Account Director
Deeksha Siwach, Sr. Account Executive
Agency Planning - – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Lucile Belleville - Global Planning Director
Josslyn Li, Planner
Agency Production – Wunderman Thompson Singapore
Gerri Hamill, Head of Integrated Production
Sharmaine Ng, Production Coordinator
Rachel Chen, Business Affairs Manager
Hafiza Yussaini, Post Production Coordinator
Hidayah Asari, Producer
Luis Calvo, Online Editor
Benjamin Low, Online Editor
Zakee Talib, Production Coordinator
Clients: Unilever, Lux
Severine Vauleon, Global Brand Vice President
Ankush Wadehra, Global Brand Director
Vivien Ng, Global Assistant Brand Manager
Angad Saxena, Global Assistant Brand Manager
Production House: Final Frontier
Animation Studio: Le Cube
Director: Ralph Karam
Executive Producers: Chris Colman (FF), Fer Soma (LC), Gus Karam (FF/LC), JuanMa Freire (LC), Julieta Zajaczkowski (FF), Ryan Shanholtzer (FF).
Project Manager: Agustina Kröl
Producers: Veronica Miramontes, Gabriel Murgue.
Art Development: Evelin Unfer, Constanza Oroza, Juan Barabani, Lucas Andreu, Matías Basla, Mariano Albano, Patricio Delpeche, Rodrigo Miguel "Numecaniq"
Animation Director: Federico Radero
Animators: Cintia Czeszczewik, Bruno Brasil, Daniel Cuervo, Diego Cristófano, Emanuel Zampalo, Guadalupe Vyleta, Leandro Vargas, Leo Campasso, Jose Luis Rosado, Tamás Pázmány, Carlos Caraya (Catarata), Sixtine James, Louis Holmes, Victoria Pellet, Agathe Simoulin, Vincent Coudroy de Lille.
Clean up & Color Supervisor: Laura Desmery
Tie Down, Clean-Up & Color: Antonella Cuozzo, Augusto Cortegoso, Clara Riavec, Cynthia Perez Daubert, Jose Ignacio Ovando, Juan Pablo “Brujo” Barbieri, Juan Natch, Julieta Culaciati, Juliana Gorgati, Julieta Soloaga, Laura Desmery, Leandro Vargas, Melisa Pighin, Rocío Saavedra, Sofía Díaz, Sofía Fernandez Vallejo, Sofía Ruocco
3D Animation Artist: Fernando La Mattina
Compositing Artist: Adrián Mirandeborde
Audio Production: DaHouse Audio GmbH
Composer: Lucas Mayer & Lucas Campello
Singer: Giovanna Moraes
Music Producers: Lucas Mayer, Wonder Bettin & Silvio Erne
Mix and Sound Design: Lucas Mayer, Rodrigo Deltoro & Niper Boaventura
Audio Executive Producers: Cassiano Derenji & Lari Miranda
Hardy Boys, South Africa PR, Edelman, South Africa PR
Jessica Hartley, Global PR
Elliot Stares, Global PR
SMC, Facebook Creative Shop
PHD, South Africa
|Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.